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Samsung SSD 830 2.5inch SATA III 6GBps 256GB Desktop Accessory Kit with Free Norton Ghost 15
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While most SSD makers rely on generic, dual-core controllers, Samsung has developed its own proprietary, triple-core MCX controllers that excel in multi-tasking and help to assure stead performance over time. Based on an ARM9 controller, its three CPU cores can execute multiple instructions such reading data, writing data and optimization. 256MB of DRAM cache memory helps maintain stable random read performance, even if the access range is increased.
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The Samsung SSDs come in three packaging options - the drive on its own, or with a desktop or laptop accessory kit. The desktop accessory kit includes a 3.5" internal mounting caddy with power and SATA cables and a single PC licensed version of Norton Ghost; the laptop accessory kit includes a SATA-USB 2.0 adapter cable and the same version of Norton Ghost. Both kits come with a copy of Samsung Magician 3.1, which allows you to run various performance benchmarking and optimisation tasks, including firmware upgrade, O/S performance optimisation, AHCI check (see below) and so-called 'over-provisioning' (which basically reserves a portion of the raw disk space to improve the performance and endurance of the drive). It's definitely worth installing and running Magician, but I wouldn't bother to install Norton Ghost for reasons outlined below.
I already had a cheap LUPO 2.5" Inch SATA USB 2.0 Hard Drive Case (PC & MAC) - BLACK so I mounted the SSD in this and connected it to the laptop via a USB cable, but the cable provided with the Samsung laptop accessory kit would presumably work equally well.
I also had Acronis True Image Home 2012 on my laptop and had intended to use that (rather than Norton Ghost) to clone the SSD from my existing hard drive and then swap them over. But having read other recommendations here on Amazon I decided to give the free download version of Macrium Reflect a go (Google it). I cannot recommend this product too highly - it made the whole cloning process an absolute no-brainer! My laptop drive had a 'hidden' Sony recovery partition in addition to the standard Windows partitions, and Macrium Reflect cloned them perfectly, automatically reducing the size of the boot partition to reflect the SSD's lower capacity and making the disk bootable. The whole process required no more than 4 or 5 key clicks!
The cloning process took about 2 hours via the USB cable (it would obviously be a lot quicker over a SATA connection). Once complete, I removed the existing hard drive and replaced it with the SSD, then booted up the laptop. On the very first boot it prompted me to enter Windows System Recovery mode (Windows does this if it detects a significant hardware change), but thereafter it booted perfectly in about 15 seconds - roughly a third of the time it used to take.
On re-running the Windows Experience Index (Control Panel - Performance Tools), the hard drive index increased from 5.3 to 7.6 (out of a maximum of 7.9). The whole laptop, which was already fairly fast, now feels like it's on steroids. Plus of course it's completely silent (apart from when the fan kicks in).
A couple of words of warning, the first of which will only generally apply if you're doing a drive replacement or addition on an older machine;
Firstly, for various technical reasons which other reviewers have alluded to, SSDs work better, and last longer, if your hard disk controller is running in AHCI rather than IDE (aka PATA) mode. On most modern SATA-based machines, AHCI is the default (and IDE/PATA may not in fact be an option). However, some legacy hard drives will not run in AHCI mode, so if you're planning on mixing SSDs and older IDE drives on the same controller, you won't get the best performance or endurance out of your SSD. In addition, changing from IDE to AHCI mode officially requires you to re-install Windows (though there is a well-proven registry tweak you can apply to avoid this - search for "AHCI registry tweak" on Google) and possibly install additional device drivers. Bottom line - check your BIOS settings and select 'AHCI' if possible.
Secondly, there are still some question marks over the long term reliability of SSDs, and the G.Skill SSD I installed in my desktop some 2 years ago has just started to throw up a few bad sectors, but I believe the latest generation of flash technology and fault-tolerant drive firmware offer levels of reliability which are for most practical purposes comparable with conventional drives. I guess only time will tell.
Performance was way above the others. We bought two types, the desktop upgrade kit which came with the 3.5" adapter (fantastic) and the laptop which came with a USB to Sata adapter - even handier. Performance is fantastic, they look good enough to use externally, permanently and they're not Sandforce; they're reliable.
So much so, we went all out and bought 90 of them. Not one failure, not one missed beat. Fantastic drives and will be buying more when budgets allow.
Windows boots in 15 seconds on SATA 2 3GB/s port on an intel core i5 laptop.
Speeds will show slower than advertised as these results are from a SATA 2 laptop.
This is from the 256GB Drive (I have a 128GB samsung drive in a SATA 3 port on my desktop)
Samsung 256GB 830 SSD SATA 6GBPS 2.5 inch Desktop Basic Kit
Sequential Reads (MB/s) 474
Sequential Writes (MB/s) 393
Random Read (IOPS) 49018
Random Write (IOPS) 21518
Test Range (MB) 100
I/O Size - Sequential (KB) 128
I/O Size - Random (KB) 4
Remarks = After Optimization
This is taken directly from SAMSUNG SSD Magician Version 3.1 (Included With The Drive)
After much research on the controllers for SSD's i have found that the samsung drive both deliver the performance and reliability that I require. I have had absolutely no problems with the drive installed, no blue screens at all. Runs all applications almost instantly.
Windows is usable instantly as soon as the desktop appears.
10/10 - Have bought one for my desktop which is SATA 3 6GB/sand can post the performance details for that version if requested.
Samsung 128GB 830 SSD SATA 6GBPS 2.5 inch Desktop Basic Kit
Hope this helps.
After deciding on Samsung basically because they have their own controllers and firmware and don't rely on anyone elses, I took the plunge and opted for the 256GB model. This kit comes with an installation tray and some handy utilities for the drive. It is important to make sure you opt for a larger model than just the smallest when using it as a boot drive as you can soon fill them and apparently the more redundant space on an SSD the longer they live. There is much talk about firmware updates and speed tests etc on the web, handily Samsungs own SSD magician can do all this for you, as well as sort your windows settings to suit it.
I have not tested this drive for speed or anything and have no real knowledge of this subject but I can tell you my machine, once equipped with AsusBoot from my mobo manufacturer will boot up within 20 seconds and shut down in less than 10. It has made my machine a lot faster and more responsive and everything just seems smoother and finally my intel cpu has been let off its leash. Every computer should have a SSD primary drive in my opinion and you would do well to consider Samsung as your weapon of choice in this respect. I will certainly be adding another larger Samsung drive in future to install and run games from.
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